Hopland's Passport weekend, at $35 for unlimited tasting at more than a dozen wineries, is a steal. But then there's the deals. Hands down the best deal of all the wineries offering deals was the Alexander Valley Zin offered at Cesar Toxqui (pronounced TossKey). This award-winning producer, who's latest entry in the ZAP festival garnered him a rating of 9 out of a possible 9.5 points, has proven his strengths as a winemaker.
Alexander Valley zin was available at a giveaway prices - $100 for a case. Dry farmed and practicing organic, and made in an organic winery. Cesar's wife Ruth said the vines are untouched, and untended - wild even.
Cesar is the winemaker at Jeriko Estates. He formerly worked at Campovida.
Cesar Toxqui is moving towards biodynamic certification, he told me today, and will be releasing a biodynamic Grenache this summer, a rarity in California.
If you want to get in on more Hopland deals like the $100 case of primo Zin, you can pencil in the date on your calendar for the next Hopland Passport festival, to be held the fourth weekend in October.
If you're a lover of organic and biodynamic wines, as I am, Hopland's Passport is The Passport event to go to. Mendocino's famous for its organic viticulture, with 28% of its winegrapes grown organically or biodynamically. That is more than 4 times as much as any other county in the U.S.